M&A Weekly Recap: Amazon and Intel Get Acquisitive, Dell’s QUEST

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Lincare (NASDAQ:LNCR) shares shoot the moon following the $41.50 per share bid from Germany’s Linde (LNAGF.PK), and might at the close of trading equal the offer. The former was originally a spinoff from Linde at the beginning of the 20th Century.

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Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) has acquired Israel’s IDesia Biometrics, says a report by Globes. IDesia has created and developed an identification method that depends upon the unique electrical signal generated by a person’s heartbeat, and only requires a user’s finger to touch a small sensor. Intel presumably wants IDesia so as to add the latter’s technology to its identity protection platform for hardware running on its processing units.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) purchases UpNext, which created a mapping method that integrates 3D models of cities with extensive point-of-interest data. UpNext has released iOS and Android applications, and should be able to address Amazon’s need for built-in mapping software for the Kindle Fire, and perhaps even a future smartphone. The acquisition, for which the financials were unreported, might be another competition worry for Google Maps (NASDAQ:GOOG) and its valuable mobile ad real estate.

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Sony’s (NYSE:SNE) Sony Computer Entertainment division buys cloud gaming firm Gaikai for a price tag of $380 million, in a deal that should reinforce its ability to provide streaming services for its games to all Sony Internet-connected devices.

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Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) is purchasing Quest Software (NASDAQ:QSFT) for $28 per share, comprising a total of $2.4 billion. $27.50 per share had been expected.

Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) shares are up a bit in later trading Monday, as activist investor Jaguar Financial increases its calls for a sale, and is also demanding the ouster of CEO Thorsten Heins plus half of RIM’s board. The annual shareholder meeting is slated for July 10th, and should be quite entertaining.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is said to have submitted a sheet of acquisition terms for Yahoo’s (NASDAQ:YHOO) ad technology division 3 months ago, which did not pass corporate development. However, discussions remain ongoing, amidst chatter that Interim Yahoo CEO Ross Levinsohn very much wishes to sell or outsource its ad tech business. Possible buyers that have been mentioned include the IT services majors IBM and Accenture (NYSE:ACN).

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Shares of Verso Paper (NYSE:VRS) shoot the moon, as the firm indicates that it’s held talks regarding a potential business combination involving the bankrupt NewPage Corp., in a proposed deal valued at more than $1.43 billion. NewPage reports that its 2011 net sales amounted to $3.5 billion, while it owns paper mills in six states with a combined production capacity of approximately 3.5 million tons per year.

Universal Music (VIVHY.PK) has been advised by the European Commission that its $1.9 billion purchase of EMI’s (NYSE:C) recorded music arm will significantly impede competition in the region, according to a Reuters report. The action implies that the regulators might block the deal unless meaningful concessions are made by Universal, which has until Tuesday to respond.

BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) acquires Swiss Re’s $7.5 billion AUM private equity unit, as it exploits the insurer’s cutting back its business in the face of new regs on risk asset holdings. The transaction should close in the third quarter, and the purchaser says that it’s forecast to be neutral to modestly accretive for 2012 earnings; financials of the deal were not divulged.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) finalizes its purchase of Progress Energy (NYSE:PGN), but at that time named Jim Rogers as CEO and Chairman of the combined company, a move that was not expected. PGN CEO Bill Johnson had been expected to head the new combined company, along with Rogers as executive chairman, but he exited, making the new step necessary. Meanwhile, Duke is said to have acquired the bankrupt 240 MW Campanario power plant in Chile for $86.2 million. The purchase marks Duke’s entry into that country, which reinforces its footprint in several other South American nations.

FedEx (NYSE:FDX) said on Wednesday that it has purchased Rapidão Cometa, which is among the largest transport and logistics firms in Brazil. The buyer is expected to benefit greatly from the fast growth of the country’s middle class.

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US Airways (NYSE:LCC) reports that there is no hurry to complete its merger with the bankrupt American Airlines (AAMRQ.PK), which is likely to postpone its review of a possible deal now that it’s requesting additional time to come up with a stand-alone exit plan. US Airways CEO Doug Parker explained that his company will “respect the bankruptcy process,” and that merger speculation will “continue for at least several more months.”

Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) announces that it will pay $438 million to purchase a regional drugstore chain from the LaFrance family. Stores belonging to the Drug Warehouse, Mays Drug, Med-X, Super D Drug, and USA Drug line will be included in the trasaction.

Although anti-trust regulators in Australia say that they will not oppose Glencore’s (GLCNF.PK) proposed buyout of Xstrata (XSRAF.PK), the transaction could still be problematic. The buyer must sweeten its bid or activist fund Knight Vinke threatens to vote against the merger; the 11 percent stakeholder Qatar Holding agrees.

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Honeywell (NYSE:HON), Ametek (NYSE:AME), and Danaher (NYSE:DHR) plus several private equity firms, will now pass through to the next round of bidding for Bartec, according to Reuters. Swiss firm Capvis, the owner of Bartec, which is a German supplier of safety systems that prevent explosions in oil and gas production, hopes the auction will bring some €600 million, or $765 million.

Shares of ShangPharma (NYSE:SHP) pop following word that a group of investors wants to take it private, offering $8.50 to $9.50 per ADS. A special committee is being created by which to evaluate the bid.

TeleCommunication Systems (NASDAQ:TSYS) purchases microDATA GIS, which supplies next-generation 9-1-1 call-management procedures, at a price of $37 million, of which $20 million consists of up-front cash. An $80 million credit facility has been obtained by the buyer, whose existing E9-1-1 call-routing solutions current support more than half of all emergency calls.

Vivendi (VIVHY.PK) is seeking a buyer for its 61 percent investment in Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI), as was announced last week, and is said to be working with an investment bank for evaluation of the stake. Also reported is that the bankers are “sounding out” technology and media firms such as Tencent, Time Warner, and Microsoft, as well as private equity firms. The divestiture of the investment is crucial to Vivendi’s restructuring plans, but a finding a suitor for the $13.3 billion company could be problematic, and many observers believe that a spin-off is more likely.

Dynegy (NYSE:DYN) will merge with its Dynegy Holdings division as it files for bankruptcy protection, and its creditors will subsequently receive a 99 percent ownership in the combined company. Left out of the Chapter 11 procedure are Dynegy subsidiaries that manage its coal and gas-fired operations.

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Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE:VNO) agrees to acquire property on Fifth Avenue, as it enlarges its prime Manhattan portfolio with a retail condominium from a joint venture of Kushner Cos, Crown Acquisitions, and Carlyle Group (NYSE:CG). The deal will be quite accretive to the latter group.

United Technologies’ (NYSE:UTX) $16.5 billion purchase of Goodrich seems to be on-line, following UTX’s agreement to divest several Goodrich’ assets, as required by the European Commission,
Reuters says. Among the assets for sale will electrical power generation operations in the U.S. and U.K., and also U.S. engine control activities.

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